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Length of reign of Norman Monarchs 1066-1216

After achieving victory at the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day, 1066. This replaced the Anglo-Saxon rule with a new reign of French-English monarchs, and the connection between the two crowns would last for centuries. William I, a descendent of the first Duke of Normandy; Rollo the Viking, spent over twenty years as the King of England, and despite some rebellions and Viking invasions, his military control over Britain allowed him to spend the majority of his reign in mainland Europe. He is credited with commissioning the construction of many castles (including the Tower of London) and for improving the feudal administration and taxation systems of Europe in the middle ages. He also ordered the creation of the Domesday Book, which was a collection of various statistics from all over England in medieval times, and this has given historians a much greater understanding of medieval Britain.

Quarrelling sons

Following the death of William I, control of England passed to his son, William II, while control of Normandy passed to his eldest son, Robert. Much of William's reign was spent fighting Robert for control of Normandy, and although he eventually subjugated his brother and later inherited these lands, William II was then 'accidentally' killed in a hunting accident, and the youngest brother, Henry, took the throne of England. Henry I then repelled his oldest brother's attempts to reclaim Normandy and England, finally defeating him in 1106, and imprisoning him for the rest of his life. After the death of his son in 1120, Henry had planned for his daughter, Matilda, to become Queen, however power instead passed to his nephew, Stephen of Blois. This resulted in a civil war, known as 'The Anarchy', which lasted until 1153.

The Angevins

The war in England proved long and inconclusive, and the outcome was that Stephen acknowledged Matilda's son, Henry, as his heir. Stephen died a year later, ushering in the Anjou (Angevin) era of the British monarchy. The three Angevin kings of England were Henry II, Richard I, and John. Richard I was the third son of Henry II, and is most famous for his military campaigns against the Muslim leader Saladin during the Third Crusade, earning him the nickname 'Coer de Lion' or 'Lionheart'. Although he reigned as King of England for almost ten years, he spent as little as six months of his adult life in England, and he was succeeded by his younger brother, John. King John (nicknamed 'Lackland', as he was not expected to inherit any lands), inherited control of England in 1199, while his nephew became ruler of Normandy. John's reign was tumultuous, and he spent much of his reign engaged in wars to try and maintain and reclaim control of his father's and brother's empire. John used heavy taxation to finance these wars, which made him unpopular among his subjects (something that has been immortalized by his portrayal in the Robin Hood legends).

Length of each English monarch's reign from the Houses of Normandy, Blois and Anjou from 1066 to 1216

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Sources

Release date

July 2019

Region

United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

1066 to 1216

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Statistics on "The British Royal Family (UK)"

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